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What is Key Club?

Key Club is the oldest and largest service program for high school students. It is a
student-led organization that teaches leadership through service to others.
Members of the Kiwanis International family, Key Club members build themselves
as they build their schools and communities. Key Club has approximately
250,000 members in approximately 5,000 clubs. Key Club is represented in 30


Where is Key Club?

The International Office is in Indianapolis, Indiana, at 3636 Woodview Trace.
Key Club is represented in 30 nations:

  • Antigua and Barbuda

  • Aruba

  • Australia

  • Bahamas

  • Barbados

  • Bermuda

  • Canada

  • Cayman Islands

  • Colombia

  • Costa Rica

  • Dominica

  • Germany

  • Guadeloupe

  • Italy

  • Jamaica

  • Malaysia

  • Martinique

  • Netherlands-Antilles

  • New Caledonia

  • New Zealand

  • Panama

  • Philippines

  • Singapore

  • South Korea

  • St. Lucia

  • Taiwan

  • Thailand

  • Trinidad and Tobago

  • Turks and Caicos Islands

  • United States of America


How did Key Club get started?

The original concept was to develop a vocational guidance program aimed to
combat the problems of a student fraternity. The idea evolved into the
formation of a youth service organization for the home, school and community.


Where and when did Key Club begin?

The first Key Club met at Sacramento High School in California in 1925.


How did Key Club get its name?

In 1925, California State Commissioner of Schools Albert C. Olney and vocational
education teacher Frank C. Vincent worked to establish the first Key Club at
Sacramento High School in California. This club was comprised of the key boys in
the school, willing to serve the school in any way possible and to create better
school spirit. Thus, the club was dubbed Key Club.


How many service hours do Key Club members provide annually?

Every year, each Key Club member is expected to do at least 50 service hours,
which equates to more than 12 million hours of service.


What is the Key Club service initiative?

Live 2 Learn is the Key Club service initiative. The program was set up to help
overcome learning obstacles of 5–9-year-olds, so young students can be
successful and give back to their home, school and community. Key Club
members are serving primary school children in three areas:
1. Improving grades. Mentoring, tutoring and developing reading improvement
programs will address a major need in all communities.
2. Giving back. Key Club members are working with primary schools to
coordinate service projects for young students to participate in within their
primary school. Key Clubbers are role models who mentor and teach youth to
be lifelong servant leaders.
3. Growing together. By stimulating imagination and learning through creative
crafts and drama, members are sparking growth and personal development in


Who are Key Club’s service partners and how does Key Club support

UNICEF, March of Dimes, and Children’s Miracle Network are all service partners.
Key Club members provide fundraising support for each of these groups. Find
out more here.


What is Kiwanis?

Kiwanis is a global organization of volunteers dedicated to changing the world
one child and one community at a time. Members help shelter the
homeless, feed the hungry, mentor the disadvantaged and care for the sick. They
develop youth as leaders, build playgrounds, raise funds for pediatric research
and more. Working together, members achieve what one person cannot
accomplish alone.


What is the Kiwanis family?

The Kiwanis family includes Kiwanis members, or Kiwanians, and all of Kiwanis’
Service Leadership Programs, which provide service and leadership opportunities

for young people and adults with disabilities around the world.


Elementary school students: Kiwanis Kids provides three programs—K-Kids,

Terrific Kids and Bring Up Grades—for students ages 6–12. In each, lessons of

leadership and self-development are introduced through learning to plan, set

goals, work with others and celebrate successes.

Teens: Kiwanis offers three meaningful, interactive programs that allow students
to discover their own leadership potential—Builders Club, exclusively for middle and junior high school students ages 12–14; Key Club, the largest high school service club in the world for ages 14–18; and Key Leader, a weekend leadership experience for students age 14–18.

Young adults: Circle K International is the premiere university and college service organization in the world, with clubs on more than 500 campuses in 17 nations. In

Europe, Kiwanis Junior gives young adults a chance to volunteer for their communities.

Adults living with disabilities: Aktion Club is the only community service club for these adult citizens, providing members an opportunity to develop initiative and leadership skills in serving their communities, while enabling integration into society.


What is Key Club Week?

Key Club Week is usually the first week of November, which is also Kiwanis Family
Month. During Key Club Week, clubs are encouraged to spread the word about
Key Club by participating in themed days. This includes inviting friends to
meetings, planning special service projects and promoting each club’s activities


When is Key Club International Convention?

The Key Club International convention occurs annually in June or July. The purpose of
the convention is to elect the international officers, review accomplishments of
the past year and set policies for the coming year. New programs are
announced and national speakers participate. Members from every club should
attend each year.


What are district conventions?

At district conventions, which happen each spring, Key Club members elect
new student leaders, learn about new service projects, meet other Key Club members,
and attend interactive workshops. Each district convention is held annually and
usually lasts two days.


How much are member dues?

Key Club International’s annual dues are $6.50. In addition, each district charges
a varying amount for annual dues. Find out what your district dues are.


How can I find a Key Club?

Ask around to see if your school already has a Key Club. You also can check out
Key Club district and division websites. Many clubs have pages on Facebook.
Or, you can call Member Services at 800-KIWANIS, ext. 411 or 317-875-8755. ext.


How do I start a Key Club?

If your school doesn’t already have a Key Club and you wish to start up your own club, go here. You’ll find resources to help you find members, build a club website and
charter your club.


Are there any minimums for involvement in a Key Club?

Many clubs utilize a point system in which members earn points for attending
meetings and projects. A best practice is the 50-hour rule: Every Key Club
member should be willing to undertake 50 hours of service each year.
(Throughout the organization, millions of service hours are volunteered annually.)


My high school already has more than one service club. Why should
we add a Key Club?

First, and most importantly, high schools can only benefit by having more
clubs provide positive service opportunities for students. Multiple service clubs
can, when properly encouraged, produce a synergy of service to a school and
community. Second, Key Club is one of the few organizations that actually is a
student-led organization from top to bottom. That means the members elect the
officers and pay the dues. This is a great way to teach real responsibility and leadership. 


What’s the cost for chartering a new Key Club?

The chartering fee for new Key Clubs is US $600 and must be paid at the time of
chartering. This fee includes the membership pins, cards, handbooks,
certificates, a gong, gavel and banner.


How many members are needed to start a new Key Club?

Fifteen is all it takes; however, no more than one-half can graduate in the same


Can I start a Key Club in a community organization?

Yes. If a Key Club cannot be formed in a traditional school setting, other
options are available. Clubs can meet in libraries, churches, temples,
synagogues, Boys and Girls Clubs, YMCA/YWCA or other suitable meeting
spaces as long as appropriate supervision is provided.


What kind of service projects can a Key Club undertake?

There is almost no limit to the scope and nature of Key Club service projects. The
Key Club website (, Key Club magazine, and conventions all
offer ideas for service opportunities. Better yet, begin by looking around your
school for existing needs.


Where can I find service project ideas?

You can use the internet to find some ideas or simply go here to find a list of projects.


Where can I find bylaws, templates, scholarship applications and other
resources for my club?

Lots of helpful resources can be found in the resources section of the website. If you still can't find what you're looking for, try the Key Club International website